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VFR flight ending with IFR approach

Asked by: 12819 views Instrument Rating

Hi - here's the scenario: I'm on a VFR night flight with broken ceiling conditions at my destination (C-Class airspace). The abbreviated briefing before take off confirmed the improving trend. I'm IFR certified but decide to fly VFR, pick my altitude in case I encounter icy clouds along the way (the plane is a skyhawk).So, sky clear on departure, and then gradually coverage increases. About 30nm away it's broken with few holes, and 15nm away the ATIS calls the overcast. The layer is about 3000ft, and there's plenty of room under it. I'm already talking to approach control. They're busy, but not overwhelmed.

What is the best way to handle things at this point:

a). Ask approach control for an IFR clearance to the active rwy : what phraseology should I use? Do I have to cancel a flight plan on the ground in this case?

b). Ask approach control to switch over to FSS, file with them, and then back to approach to pick up the clearance, which I assume I have to cancel once I see the runway or I'm on the ground?

Thanks for the advice.



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1 Answers

  1. Best Answer

    Mark Kolber on Mar 25, 2014

    In both cases, cancellation requirements are exactly the same as any other IFR flight plan. If you’re landing at a towered airport, ATC will cancel it for you; non-towered airport you need to cancel it with a radio or phone call.

    Best way is (a) since it is quicker and easier. It’s also workload-dependent on the part of ATC so ATC can tell you to call FSS instead. Described in the vernacular as a “pop up” clearance, asking for it is simple, especially if you are already talking to Approach. Just “request IFR clearance to my destination.” You can add some context to the request if you like, but just asking for it is all that’s minimally necessary.

    Not much more difficult if you’re not already talking to ATC.

    +7 Votes Thumb up 7 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes

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